Wednesday, October 17, 2012

1948: Dewey doesn't defeat Truman


Ladies and gentlemen, you are watching here via the facilities of NBC television and Life magazine, coverage of the 1948 national elections, live and direct across the network.

This is looking more and more like a stunning reversal in fortunes for the Republican ticket headed by Gov. Thomas Dewey, a ticket that had seemed to be destined to coast to victory against a riven Democratic Party and a president whose popularity has steadily faded since he assumed the high office upon the death of FDR. And it is our privilege -- Life and the NBC network -- to bring this live coverage to you, the television viewer, thanks to this electronic miracle of our modern times.


IF YOU will indulge us ladies and gentlemen, as Ben Grauer fires up yet another Camel and we peer into the iconoscope through a smoky haze . . . just a moment, ladies and gentlemen, we are getting word that we have results in from Ohio . . . yes, the results are in ladies and gentlemen of the television audience across the East Coast from Schenectady to Philadelphia to here in New York City and down to our nation's capital, and President Truman has taken Ohio. We repeat, President Truman has won Ohio and thus has claimed the necessary electoral votes for re-election as president of the United States . . . this is extraordinary, a stunning reversal of fortune, television friends.

Now we understand the president may have a statement for the assembled press and supporters at his Kansas City hotel, and you will hear that right here on the NBC hookup, but you won't see it, because we can't do that yet because we don't have the coaxial cable running that far yet. But you will hear it over our NBC microphones, viewing friends as the camera pans wildly to and fro.


Now if you will bear with us as you squint at your 12-inch screen, we have a little confusion here, as it's just 1948 and no one has ever done this sort of thing before -- and frankly, kinescope compadres, we just have no idea what the H-E-double hockey sticks we're doing.

At all.


BUT at least we're not the Chicago Daily Tribune.

0 snappy rejoinders: